Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is designed to host desktop operating systems within virtual machines that reside/run on a centralized server infrastructure. Key points about VDI at Western:
Our current offering is designed to be used in a lab environment.
Our implementation is designed to use what are called zero client devices in the labs. These devices cannot run independently as desktops but instead connect to central servers where the desktop’s processing actually takes place. ITS can assist in acquiring needed client devices.
A customized image can be created for each lab including only the applications that lab requires with any security measures needed applied to the desktops.
These desktops can be used by our undergrad and graduate student population as well as faculty and identified supporting staff members. More granular restrictions can be applied if needed – for example if you want a lab restricted to graduate students for a particular faculty.
2 GB of central disk is provided for each student to store their assignments. This disk is purged when the student leaves Western.
USB keys can be used in these devices as they can with any PC.
Management of individual lab images is delegated to the department involved. ITS will work with these administrators to gain an understanding of the tools and processes involved.